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  • US Navy ship sailing off the coast of Venezuela.

    US Navy ship sailing off the coast of Venezuela. | Photo: U.S. Navy

Published 23 June 2020
Opinion

According to U.S. Southern Command, the "peaceful" operation took place "in international waters, outside the territorial jurisdiction of Venezuela, 12 nautical miles (about 22 kilometers) from that country.

A U.S. Navy ship sailed Tuesday off the coast of Venezuela, in what Southern Command called a "freedom of navigation operation" a day after an Iranian cargo ship docked at one of the ports of the South American country.

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According to SouthCom, the "peaceful" operation took place "in international waters, outside the territorial jurisdiction of Venezuela, 12 nautical miles (about 22 kilometers) from that country.

"These freedoms are the basis of ongoing security efforts and are essential for regional peace and stability," said Admiral Craig Faller, commander of Southern Command.

The U.S. Navy "routinely conducts freedom of navigation operations around the world to preserve maritime navigation and guaranteed access rights to all nations and vital to the global mobility of U.S. forces," Southern Command explained.

However, the fact comes after the government of President Donald Trump announced last April the deployment of more military assets in the Caribbean, after accusing the Venezuelan government without proof of illegal drug trafficking-related movements, in its attempt, once again, to destabilize the Caribbean nation.

On the other hand, following the U.S.’s increasingly harsh sanctions on the Venezuelan oil industry, the country’s legitimate president, Nicolas Maduro, turned to Iran for fuel last month.

This move did not please Washington, which at the time threatened to take action, although it did not mention any military action.

On Monday, an Iranian-flagged cargo ship Golsan docked at the port of La Guaira carrying what the Tehran embassy in Caracas said was food to supply the first Iranian supermarket in the South American nation.

The ties of solidarity between both nations facing illegal sanctions by the U.S., and that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised several criticisms from the international community, represents a threat to Washington and its attempts to remove President Maduro from office. 

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